As we’re drifting along through Libra month, we may be examining the things in our life that feel out of whack, things that are tipping the scales, and every other synonym for MY LIFE IS OFF BALANCE.
Libra month always begins with the fall equinox. There is equal day and night. As the month continues, the light is gradually overtaken by the dark as we get closer to that dreaded time that I call winter.
I detest the cold. I was born in winter and I still can’t stand it.
Anyway, because of this literal balance, you can understand why balance as a concept corresponds to the Libra archetype.
Furthermore, Libra is ruled by the lovely planet Venus, who wants everything to be lovely. Imbalance is not lovely, so Libra is determined to bring things back into a pleasant homeostasis.
Libra types are notoriously noncommittal sometimes, but it’s not that they don’t feel any which way, they just want to make sure that we’re looking at every angle and doing the best thing.
The Venusian aspect means that all this balancing, all this taking things on and off the scale to get it to line up perfectly, is done in the name of beauty. And we want our life to be beautiful, whatever our personal standard of beauty is.
Going to extremes in any area of your life leads to burnout. Putting too much weight on one side of the scale is going to cause it to tip the f*ck over. You have to add something on the other side. When you do that, you in turn start lifting the heavy side up, bringing it higher and higher.
When you bring the areas of your life into balance, all those areas are also able to “lift”—they’ll be easier, more effective, and bring you more fulfillment.
Often when we’re very passionate about something, or we’re just used to being laser focused and not wanting to give up, we forget that we are multi-faced human beings who need stuff to fulfill all those facets. That’s why extreme crash diets and militant exercise plans don’t work in the long run. That’s why career burnout happens when you consistently work 80-hour weeks. That’s why when you’ve been studying for an exam all day, all you want to do is zone out and not think for a while.
So how can we integrate real balance into our lives in pursuit of beauty and grace?
Let’s create an energy budget. The Capricorn emphasis in my chart likes lists and technical things, so that’s what we’re doing.
HOW TO CREATE AN ENERGY BUDGET
1. Start by writing down your list of things that you wish you had more time for. Anything and everything that comes to mind.
2. Next, write down how many hours per week you’d like to do each of those things. Right now we’re not paying attention to the actual number of hours in a week.
3. Now you’re going to write down what your current life looks like, broken down into a rough estimate of the number of hours per week for each thing.
4. Take a look at the current energy expenditure and what categories are tipping the scales. Obviously most people spend a lot of their time at work, but I’m not going to shy away from saying that if you’re spending over 40 hours a week at work and you’re resentful and angry about it, something needs to change…stat.
5. Now the big question: Where are things out of balance? What are you spending lots of energy on but you don’t have something on the other side of the scale to restore you? Are you lacking in physical exercise? Are you lacking in intellectual exercise? Are you lacking in social connection? Are you lacking in alone time? When you look at your list and you feel the energy of the composition of your life, you’ll know the answers to those questions.
6. Time to integrate your lists into a real energy budget. Take the absolute necessities from your current expenditure, cutting things down where you see fit. Pick the most important things from your wish list and add them into the budget. There’s 168 hours in a week, but don’t forget about sleep and eating. You’ll know how many hours realistically you have to work with for your life.
7. Review your energy budget. Feel the energy of your life being exactly like this. Are your internal scales coming back into alignment?
8. Put your energy budget into practice. Be flexible and compassionate with yourself when things aren’t exactly like you planned, or when you feel like doing something else that’s not in the budget, but it makes you happy.
To sumarize, we are all valuable, sovereign human beings who deserve to honor ourselves and our human need to feel balanced and taken care of. Sometimes that means relinquishing commitments or cutting back on something to make room for something else. We each have unique ideas of what a beautiful and proportioned life looks like, and we each deserve to get our scales back into balance.